Mamata has higher ambitions, says Congress

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The Congress on Friday said Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's attempt to garner support against the union government's recent economic reforms was aimed at fulfilling 'higher ambitions' in national politics.

"If she does not want FDI (foreign direct investment) in (West) Bengal, she can clearly say that. Why is she trying to garner countrywide support for her protest against economic reforms? She surely has higher ambitions in national politics," state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya told reporters here.

Banerjee, also the West Bengal Chief Minister, was the main speaker at a rally against FDI in multi-brand retail in New Delhi Oct 1.

She is also slated to visit other states to drum up support on the issue.

Bhattacharya, a Rajya Sabha member, said FDI in retail would benefit the state and those opposing it were helping middlemen and jeopardising interests of marginal farmers and traders.

"The reform seeks to eliminate middlemen, but the state government and the Left Front, by opposing it, are strengthening touts," he said.

"If FDI is such a harmful thing, why did Jyoti Basu or Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (former chief ministers) go to foreign shores to invite investment? Why Banerjee as the railway minister procured foreign machineries?" he said.

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